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Photographic Tours

sugarbird 14 223 South Africa
24 Jun 2007 10:31AM
Years ago my family ran a tour business and now I am thinking, since things didn't work out for me in Australia and I often get letters from folks who just want to photograph the same things I do or see what I see. I was thinking of starting a photographic tour thingy in my area..and have no clue how to go about it, obviously it would not be a "how to take pictures" tourSmile as I don't have the technical ability or experience but i do know my country and where to find things that most tours don't include and I certainly see things and people from a different perspective...any advice, prices etc and would anyone come??Smile Thanks...much appreciated

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Henchard 13 2.7k 1 United Kingdom
24 Jun 2007 10:51AM
Hi Jill, Several years back I gave up my job to run trekking tours in Nepal. Although I knew Nepal well I'd never run tours before. To be honest that was the easy bit.

The biggest problem (from the UK perspective) was getting the necessary indemnity insurance. In the UK the tour operator is completely liable for anything that goes wrong on tour; so if a client is injured in a trekking lodge in the Annapurnas - I could still be sued. Consequently insurance was very expensive and difficult to get (risk assessments etc had to be completed for all accommodation etc). Also under EEC legislation the client's money needs to be bonded or held in a separate trust account and whilst this may not apply in your jurisdiction it's something clients will be concerned about.

Other than that clear documentation and booking terms and conditions was essential.

The business did ok until the Maoist problems in Nepal flared up when I decided it was not the time to put money into expanding - so I quietly moved on to other projects. So be aware that other factors can influence why people may travel (e.g. a terrorist incident can result in cancellations etc.)
sugarbird 14 223 South Africa
24 Jun 2007 11:04AM
Thanks, yes I have taken that into consideration, certainly as we live in an area that may be considered "dangerous" but my local area is very safe and we will not consider any areas that are troubled. Accomodation will be included in the price, all photographic tours here charge US dollars so the price averages at about 250 dollars pp per day to much more...including accomodation, tours everything, I have a tour drivers licence and that seems cover the insurance needs here as I can see, but I will obviousely have to research it further..thanks so much
24 Jun 2007 11:07AM
good idea, allthough you should consider that many people will become less interested when they have to pay for it. Still, there might be a market for it, provided you're not only their 'photographic' tour guide. Think you should be a tour guide in general, with the emphasis on photography. Photographers could take their family with them, and they probably don't want to be side lined. Small groups seems the obvious choice, a rather personal approach. better don't take a landscaper on tour together with a streetphotographer lol. There's a guy here in Thailand who started a tour business in Chiang Mai, mainly concentrating on eco tours... so most tours are bike rides. Clearly not the same, but his business seems to do well, so there seems to be a market for these niches. There's also Jonathan Taylor from epz, who aparently organizes photographic tours in Bangkok, allthough I think the emphasis is also on the 'how to take pictures part'. And no idea really if his business goes well. Nic might know... think she contacted him once. I must say, if I were going to SA on holiday, knowing that probably I would want to take many pics, I would be very interested in your services. But it would probably also largely depend on your price.
Think you would have to be good as well in organizing things. Most people might expect you to book hotels, etc for them as well.
Did you check if you are allowed to be a tour guide ? Do you need a degree in tourism ? Just mentioning it because regulations tend to be very different depending on the country. In Thailand you basically can not as a foreigner (the many doing it anyway sooner or later get caught and deported), in Spain I think there were not to many restrictions - nationality wise. In Turkey it was difficult for foreigners to work,...
Making yourself visible and known is important as well. So in that regard websites such as epz might become very usefull.
Anyway, just thinking out aloud here Smile
sugarbird 14 223 South Africa
24 Jun 2007 11:38AM
Thanks Koen, I wrote a loong reply but this slow internet "timed out" on me...excellent input, ta..it would only be small tours, accomodation included, generally 5 star due to our rubbish exhchange rate...
sugarbird 14 223 South Africa
24 Jun 2007 11:41AM
And, my Dad was a Safari operator for over 30 years before he retired so he know all the laws and regulations regarding insurance etc...familys would be great...my knowledge would only be as to what I see..my closeness with the locals etc..and different places like the Owlhouse in Nie Bethesda...small luxury bus, accomodation all inclusive..approx 250 US dollars perday. per person,,just milling this around in my head..thanks
24 Jun 2007 11:42AM
and, VERY important...

a good internet connection Wink
sugarbird 14 223 South Africa
24 Jun 2007 11:45AM
Ha ha....Ja dis reg my vriend...I am crawling along at21.kpbs a whatsit, BUT I found out I can access G3 here...so that may push the speed up a bitSmile
24 Jun 2007 11:53AM
Did you think about this... I think many (most) photographers might be mainly interested in Wildlife and landscapes when it comes to SA. Kruger park and all that.
Are you going to ignore them and completely go for "people" photographers (thus missing out on the largest part of the pie) ?
sugarbird 14 223 South Africa
24 Jun 2007 12:13PM
No, not at all, because we have a perfectly great Game Park near us the Addo Elephant and if people would like I would LOVE to take them to Namibia to the Etosha, I think Kruger is fine but there are so many other ones as good, or even better...and there is much more to S Africa than the landscapes and game but that is up to the client...

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